Home Energy and Environment Video: Rep. Jim Moran Rips Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Video: Rep. Jim Moran Rips Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining


Mountaintop removal coal mining – blowing the smithereens out of mountains, basically, to get at the coal seams lying within/underneath – is a debacle in pretty much every way, except for the profits of the coal companies of course. As Jim Moran explains:

An environmental impact statement found that between 1985 and 2002, nearly 2,000 miles of streams were buried or destroyed by mountaintop removal. Not surprisingly, peer-reviewed scientific studies continued to confirm the devastation on the surrounding environment and wildlife habitats of the numerous toxic chemicals, like arsenic and mercury, that enter into streams as mountaintops are blasted and bulldozed away. We found in a 2011 study that cancer rates were twice as high in communities exposed to the effects of mountaintop mining. In the journal Science, we found likewise chronic pulmonary disorders in coal country…counties near mountaintop mining areas had substantially higher rates of multiple types of birth defects. Congress should welcome regulations save and enhance American lives, not put them in jeopardy…

I’d also point to research that shows “mountaintop removal mining’s economic cost to Appalachian communities totaled roughly $42 billion per year in lost health and lives,” and that “Appalachian counties with the heaviest concentration of coal mining have the worst unemployment and the worst economic conditions in the region.”

So, other than the fact that coal companies are profitable and have powerful lobbies in Congress, is there any GOOD reason why we allow this crap to continue?!?

  • Here’s a clip from five years ago:


    “It’s been described as Hiroshima every nine days…”

    And here’s a clip from one month ago:


    “The coal lobby basically controls West Virginia…”

    (Scroll forward past other content to 48:40 to hear comment on mountaintop bombing,

    but first click play and give audio time to download first on your computer)

    My proposal to remedy the situation is simple:

    1) Make coal companies pay for ALL the damage they’ve caused to our air and water…a cost so prohibitive that we will soon find renewable resources more cost-effective.

    2)  If coal companies (such as Freedom Industries in West Virginia) go bankrupt after creating pollution they can’t clean up, we go after the officers and directors personally and force them to spend their life savings to clean up the mess and/or go to jail.